Tech News, Trends & Tips
 Innovative, Single-Source Voice & IT Solutions
Serving the DC Region for 40 Years

Connect with us
(703) 321-3030
A Message from the President
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in how we communicate, so in this issue we focus on some of the ways this is playing out today and how it may play out in the future as businesses continue the quest for digital transformation while coping with the COVID pandemic…

  • Cloud technology has enabled huge advances in remote work, operations, customer service, and healthcare, ushering in the “hybrid” era. We highlight how businesses are capitalizing on these innovations. 

  • How can you strengthen ties with customers and create a personal experience in a predominantly digital world? Unified communications technology is the key. 

  • Resilient communications is essential for any business, and cloud technology delivers. We offer several ways the cloud can provide peace of mind.

  • Retaining clients means more profit. We discuss how a strong contact center solution can help your business achieve its financial goals. 

  • Your communications system must be able to protect the data shared within your business and beyond. Here we offer 5 questions you should ask your provider to ensure you’re getting the best security.

Contact me today to discuss how TCI’s products and services can help your organization get more out of its technology investments – now and in the future.

Tom Cornbrooks, President
(703) 321-3030 |

How Technology enables our New Normal… Hybrid Workplaces, Lifestyle & Healthcare
While no one has a crystal ball, life may never return to what it was before COVID-19. We’ve experienced major shifts in how we live, work, learn and communicate. The word "hybrid" best describes these changes and what the future may hold. We may not return to the past, but we won't be in pandemic mode either.

The acceptance and use of new technology has moved at warp speed. Adoption of advanced technologies in operations, supply chains and data security has moved faster than most decision makers could have imagined. Technology has also enabled huge advances in remote work, operations, customer service, and healthcare…

Hybrid Workforce

"You want to work from home?" While some businesses offered this as a perk, most frowned upon it, citing the importance of "face time." If there is one thing the pandemic has proved is that working remotely has not hurt productivity. Cloud communications enabled teams to interact and collaborate, using tools like video conferences, file sharing, shared workspaces and messaging. Without this operational support, productivity and team interactions would suffer. Many workers in highly skilled, non-customer facing jobs (e.g., finance, insurance, IT) can work remotely very effectively. Advances in cloud communications have made this possible. What's more, many employees like the flexibility and report less stress.

Hybrid Lifestyle

Online shopping, already gaining in popularity before the pandemic, has soared. Home delivery of goods and food, curbside pickup and other hybrid shopping habits are here to stay. Customers like the convenience, wide product selection and speed. Businesses have responded to this demand by adding digital customer channels like chatbots, mobile apps and other ecommerce tools.
Contactless payment methods and digital workflows are two examples. Using document automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other automation tools, banks have quickly moved away from in-person interactions, enabling customers to upload all pertinent documents including image files and PDFs. Need to see a driver's license? The customer takes a picture using their smart phone and uploads it to their online application. The bank representative facilitating the application is probably sitting at home, not the branch.

Hybrid Healthcare

One of the most dramatic changes is the adoption of telehealth. The technology was available before the pandemic, but both providers and patients were reluctant to use it. The pandemic has helped everyone recognize the value of telehealth. A follow-up appointment, often just a conversation with the healthcare provider, is more efficient and convenient done virtually. When a patient comes down with a bad cold that is "going around", the provider can diagnose the problem with a video call, keeping the sick patient at home. Going forward, expect to see a blend of in-person and virtual care.

The power behind all of these innovations is in the cloud...

Businesses don't have to worry about buying hardware or software to quickly expand their capacity. That capital can be used to transform operations, hire new talent or introduce new products.

Cloud communications can give your businesses more flexibility and options than ever before. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or
3 Easy Ways to Strengthen Customer Relationships with Unified Communication Tools
Darwin’s Theory is that species must adapt to their environment in order to survive. The same is true in business, and the pandemic has been a hard lesson for many companies as they battle to stay afloat. The "fittest" have embraced (and even accelerated) digital transformation, finding new and meaningful ways to engage customers remotely. Even when social distancing restrictions relax, customers have grown accustomed to digital interactions. And for good reason: they're faster and more convenient. But people still want to feel connected, perhaps even more so than before.

So how can you strengthen ties with customers and create a personal experience in a predominantly digital world? Unified communications technology makes it possible. Here are three specific ways to leverage digital communications tools to solidify customer relationships—and business survival.

1. Know Your Customer

We're all in need of a little extra TLC these days, and companies that can find a way to show they care are rising to the top. What better way to do that than to demonstrate how well you know your customers? CRM integration with your communications system gives staff real-time access to information that can be used to create a memorable experience. As soon as a customer contacts your business, agents can see detailed customer data, ranging from past order history and previous communications. Agents can immediately jump into action, providing updates on recent orders and answering questions the customer may have before they even ask them.

2. Make It Omnichannel

Customers have been interacting with businesses across multiple digital channels for years now, but the pandemic has forced even the most tech-resistant customers to become more digitally savvy. Consumers will be more likely to use digital wallets or cards in the future, and the use of chat and social media has seen a huge increase.

Today, customers expect to be able to communicate with businesses via multiple social media channels, web chat, SMS messages, email and messaging apps. But it's not enough to offer multiple means of communications. They all need to play nice together, allowing customers to seamlessly move from one channel to another. The digital customer simply expects to be able to start a conversation with a chatbot and move to a live agent via chat or phone (depending on their preference) without having to repeat any of the information they already shared. Smart bots powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) make this possible by routing customers to an agent with the right level of expertise and providing them with a full history of the interaction.

3. Personalize It

Customers may be looking for ways to avoid physical interaction with your staff, but they're craving personalization more than ever. They want to know you understand their needs and desires, that you value their time and business and that you truly care about giving them what they need. When agents have access to a full customer history, they can personalize the interaction and make customers feel appreciated and valued.

AI technology takes personalization to a new level, with virtual agents monitoring conversations and providing human agents with relevant information to resolve issues and answer questions more quickly. Integration with other internal systems such as supply chain and logistics platforms empower agents to answer just about any question a customer may have.

Powerful unified communications technology arms your business with the right tools to outperform the competition and adapt to changing customer expectations. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or
Preparing for the Unthinkable… How to Provide a Safety Net for Your Business with the Cloud
As more people receive the vaccine, we can hope that we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel. That's the good news. However, we also now realize that unexpected, unthinkable events will happen—and can happen again. This is where business continuity and agility must be top priorities moving forward.

Given what we've learned about how essential it is to have resilient communications, the value of cloud technology has become more apparent. As a trusted, reliable element of any business communications plan, here's why the cloud can provide peace of mind:

Resiliency In the Face of Disaster

COVID-19 has been a real-time exercise in crisis management. Companies that had "crises" in their business continuity plans and the right technology in place were able to pivot quickly to remote work with cloud-based communications tools. Many of the lessons learned from the pandemic will be useful for future business continuity plans, just as other disasters―both natural and man-made―informed the plans we're implementing today.

For instance, during Hurricane Katrina, IT leaders in and around New Orleans learned the value of having a disaster recovery that included the cloud. As the storm pummeled the city and water rose, IT support staff were displaced. The lesson? The ability to transition smoothly to remote work was essential for keeping operations running, especially as offices of government agencies and businesses lost power or flooded. Today, many of these leaders rely on the cloud to provide immediate access to critical systems from any location.

Protection Against Cybersecurity Threats

Natural disasters aren't the only disruption business continuity teams need to prepare for. Man-made threats have made cybersecurity a mainstay of planning. TCCSC, a Los Angeles-based healthcare non-profit, factored these concerns into its communications strategy. In addition to requiring a geo-independent and fully redundant solution, its new system had to protect highly confidential medical data. By moving to the cloud, the organization was able to connect its healthcare professionals so they could easily collaborate from any location, using any kind of device. With a cloud-based solution, their personnel are always reachable and advanced encryption meets HIPAA compliance requirements.

Innovation and Opportunity

The speed at which scientists around the world developed COVID-19 vaccines was breathtaking. One of the first vaccines available was developed by Moderna, a U.S.-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology firm. Moderna uses the public cloud as its research and development platform. This enabled scientists to design research experiments, use automated laboratory capabilities and quickly translate data to manufacturing. To achieve this, Moderna uses a proprietary cloud-based application called Drug Design Studio. By using the cloud, the company can scale instantly. There's no need to buy more servers to meet data storage demand. Applications are uploaded easily for all employees and partners to access. Moderna's example demonstrates how the cloud can support innovation and competitive advantage.

How could your organization benefit from this kind of computing power?

If you're considering moving to the cloud, remember you don't have to do it all at once. Step back and create a plan. Identify what should stay in-house and what should go to the cloud. Focus on what you'd need to operate if a major interruption or disaster occurred. Focus on the connectivity your employees need to do their jobs remotely. Also, focus on consistent and seamless end-to-end communications. TCI can help you build a hybrid or full cloud solution that meets the needs you've identified.

Give your company the agility it needs to respond to any disruption, be it a natural disaster, a global pandemic, a security breach or a failure of your network or hardware. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or

How Contact Centers help drive Success in Small & Mid-sized Businesses
Some organizations, particularly smaller ones, may still have doubts about the real value of a contact center. From the customer perspective, however, the value of a contact center could not be more real.

For example, a small online retailer is just like a big retailer that makes their profit from repeat customers. If consumers are dissatisfied and share that feeling with others or rate the service poorly on an assessment, it could have a downstream effect that hurts your best efforts to get customers back to the cash register.

Providing an optimal customer experience is at the forefront of many planning discussions in every industry and business model. In a world that lives on posting the good, bad and ugly on social media, keeping an eye on customer satisfaction is an absolute must.

Retaining clients means more profit. By having a strong contact center solution, you can:

  • Measure and analyze customer behavior and prepare the right strategies to respond when you identify service gaps. 

  • Prioritize calls more effectively by providing pop-up information on repeat callers. This allows your staff to be smarter in how they answer the phone and who they may place on hold - routing the call to the beginning of the queue versus later.

  • Leverage real-time analytics to see what’s really happening at the first point-of-contact, identify staff that require more training and determine if a customer had a negative experience - before they have a chance to leave a bad review. 

A robust contact center solution can improve operational efficiency and deliver a better customer experience, while keeping you apprised of what’s really happening. Your response can drive better satisfaction surveys and online ratings.

Let’s discuss how to improve your customer experience by implementing a contact center to support your business. Contact TCI today (703) 321-3030 or

Securing your Business requires asking your Service Providers the Right Questions
Secure communications can protect your business from the damage and destruction of a data breach. And it’s not just a priority for banks and healthcare providers - any business has daily office emails and phone calls that can contain confidential customer and corporate information.

Your communications system must be able to protect the data shared within your business and beyond. Here are 5 questions you should ask your provider to ensure you’re getting the best security:

1. What infrastructure is your system hosted on? A strong cloud communications provider will be leveraging a best-in-class infrastructure to ensure the highest level of security. This saves you time and resources that can be focused on performance and innovation rather than management and maintenance. A secure communications software system, like TCI Host, can do all this, plus integrate with the programs you already use.

2. Can your communications software handle mobile securely? Working on the go is a growing norm, meaning mobility is even more important for a communications system. However, a mobile system doesn’t always mean it’s secure. Ensure you can connect and work away from the office - without sacrificing in-office functionality and security.

3. Is your communications software certified HIPAA-Compliant? Certified HIPAA and SOC 2 compliant software guarantees that your data is encrypted in transit and at rest with anti-virus protection and security protocols that adhere to the most stringent data compliance standards.

4. How do you monitor your system? Your cloud communications provider should have a Network Operations Center, a location that continually monitors a telecommunications network - all day, every day. Do they support it in-house or outsource? What tools and analytics are they leveraging to stay ahead? Top providers are predictive and proactive, not reactive.

5. How do I get informed of any issues? If issues do occur with your communications system, you need to know about them quickly. How do they alert you when problems arise? Is there a public site where you can stay up to date about any issues and their solutions?

Whether you’re in healthcare, finance, education or just interested in an additional level of security, look for a communications system that keeps your customer and sensitive data secure. And make sure you can connect to client information from anywhere, while ensuring your client’s privacy needs are met.

Looking for a communications system that’s built for security? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or
Need Support? Moving? Expanding?

Nationwide Support
(800) 824-1001
DC & Baltimore Metro 
Virginia, Maryland, DC
(703) 321-3030